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Petra - Activities Volunteer & Letter Writer

Petra first started volunteering with CHAS in January 2020 as part of the Activities Team in the Robin House.

During the pandemic Petra has been volunteering as a letter writer and also helps out with administration tasks for the Volunteering team.

Petra is 34 and first started volunteering with CHAS as part of the Activities Team in the Robin House. During the pandemic she has been volunteering as a letter writer - writing letters to two young people who are supported by CHAS. She also helps out with administration tasks for the Volunteering team. Recently Petra told us why she got involved in CHAS and what she gains from volunteering.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I grew up in the North of Hungary in a small town. I enjoy doing yoga and Pilates and also like reading, hiking and hillwalking, practising agility with my dogs, board games and gardening.

I came to Scotland 3 years ago to study at university, improve my English, and gain work experience abroad.

Why did you decide to volunteer with CHAS?

I was studying counselling and we were encouraged to take part in some volunteering work. I found CHAS nearby and they provided many options for volunteers.

I also wanted to contribute to the extremely meaningful work that CHAS does day by day.

Have you volunteered during the pandemic? If so, what does this look like?

During the pandemic, I’ve sent funny and colourful letters to children to help cheer them up.

Once I sent a letter to a boy who was in hospital and a couple of days later a nurse from the hospital called Robin House to tell us that the letter made their wee patient very happy and he enjoyed so much the activity as well. This was very touching to me and made me feel like I’d made a difference.

Have you used your native language at all in any activities with CHAS?

Yes, some expressions are usually included in my letters, like greetings and other useful words. I also share information about the Hungarian holiday habits, foods and places.

Have you found that there any unexpected benefits to volunteering with CHAS?

Yes, there are many! Many of my skills were developed including researching, creativity-crafts, using excel files and writing. I’ve also learnt about the complexity of an organisation’s working.

You are studying and volunteering at the same time. Do you feel that your volunteering positively impacts on your studies or vice versa?

Yes, volunteering definitely impacts my studies positively. I gain experience at CHAS, connecting with people, doing creative and comprehensive tasks and activities. CHAS always provides new opportunities and further training as well.

In the future, I hope I can use my studies and skills in person at Robin House when restrictions allow.

What 3 words would you use to sum up CHAS?

Creativity, togetherness, rainbow.

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